A couple of years ago eReaders were thought to have a very rosy future, but now the market is in a crisis due to the booming tablet market. Reuters dedicated an article to the state of the eReader market and notes that while IHS iSuppli predicated last December there would be 43 million eReaders shipped in 2014, the number got a downward revision by two thirds last month. By contrast, Morgan Stanley more than doubled its 2013 tablet shipment prediction to 216 million units.
One of the only major players left in the eReader screen market is E Ink, but the company got outflanked by the emergence of the tablet and has been slow to innovate.
Companies giving up the ghost include Japanese tyre maker Bridgestone Corp which ended e-paper production this year after six years in the business, blaming falling prices and the rising popularity of tablets with LCD displays. Its partner Delta Electronics Inc also said it was pulling out.
Qualcomm Inc, which snapped up two startups and launched several devices including the Kyobo Reader in South Korea, told investors in July it would now focus on licensing its Mirasol display technology.
UK-based Plastic Logic said it had stopped making e-readers and was now looking to license its display technology for devices such as credit cards.
That leaves E Ink, which this year bought one of its few remaining competitors, SiPix Technology, in pole position.